The late gospel singer Keith Green sang the words “Make my life a prayer to you. I want to do what you want me to…” In this memorable song he framed the act of prayer in a much larger context than words we speak over a meal, at a prayer meeting, or during a quiet time. The idea that our very life can become a prayer before God’s throne is both Biblical and transformative.
The Psalmist wrote
“Let us lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens.” (Lam. 3:41)
The Apostle Paul exhorted
“I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you. Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Our prayers become a reflection of our life and our life becomes a reflection of our prayers. And often we become the answer to our own prayers, as we see illustrated clearly in Matthew’s gospel:
“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'” (Matthew 9:35-38)
Then, in the passage that follows we see the disciples becoming the answer to their own prayer:
“Jesus called his twelve disciples and gave them authority to force evil spirits out of people and to cure every disease and sickness…Jesus sent these twelve out…” (Matthew 10:1,5)
The Father Who Sees In Secret Will Reward You Openly
We serve a God who is full of wonderful surprises. When we least expect it, He can pull back the curtain of heaven and do something remarkable–a breakthrough, a release, a whole new way of seeing things. More often than not, when it comes to prayer, success is cumulative. Little by little, we make deposits into the bank account of heaven and it accrues interest. As we generously pray and act out kingdom values to others, the Father who sees in secret will reward us openly (Matthew 6:4).
Recently I stumbled upon an article that underscores this point. It’s about an Idaho boy “who stuffed a shoebox full of goodies for Operation Christmas Child, a project to bless children around the world run by Samaritan’s Purse.” I would encourage you to click the link below and read about it. It is an amazing example of how God rewards the secret acts we perform openly, even if the reward arrives many years later.